The 2015 Fubon Corporate Social Responsibility Report is the fifth CSR report issued by Fubon Financial Holdings to receive international certification. In the process of compiling the report, we were able to reexamine our sustainability practices based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria and initiate far-reaching ESG action plans through our “Fubon ESG Visioning Project” that truly reflect Fubon’s values and international norms.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Fubon people, in 2015, Fubon Financial Holdings remained Taiwan’s most profitable financial holding company for a seventh straight year with net income of NT$63.6 billion, setting another industry record for earnings.The strong performance made us even more determined to monitor and address operational risk and embed sustainability concepts in all aspects of our business.
With that in mind, Fubon Financial Holdings launched a “Fubon ESG Visioning Project” in late 2015 and created an ESG Task Force under the Corporate Governance and Sustainability Committee with six separate working groups, covering corporate governance, employee care, responsible finance, customer engagement, social commitment and environmental sustainability. Committed to a five-pronged LIGHT strategy involving “Leading investment, Innovative finance, Golden practices, Honest lending and Tender care,” the project is aimed at devising short, medium, and long-term development strategies and action plans consistent with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Task Force is responsible for overseeing the plans and helping employees understand and identify with ESG practices so that they evolve into an inherent part of our corporate culture and the foundation of Fubon’s sustainable operations in the future.
Sustainability was at the core of COP21 meeting in Paris in 2015, where participating countries each committed to specific carbon reduction goals with the goal of limiting warming to under 2 degrees Celsius by 2050. It was clear to us that the Paris Agreement adopted at the end of COP21 signaled that environmental issues, such as climate change and carbon reduction, are now front and center and will directly affect companies’ operations.
Fubon has engaged in energy conservation and carbon reduction starting at the most fundamental levels and promoted environmentally sound practices, including phasing out energy-wasting equipment, for many years. More recently, with the onset of the digital finance age, we set up a “FinTech Office” to develop financial technology applications and promote innovative financial services that promise to be eco-friendly.
Financial institutions have come under increasing scrutiny over whether their investment and lending behavior is consistent with global sustainability principles, especially in addressing climate change and shifting social structures, and Fubon subsidiaries have met the challenge. Taipei Fubon Bank has established “Sustainable Lending Guidelines” that embody the spirit of the Equator Principles and apply them to every loan application. Fubon Life follows responsible investment principles in setting investment policy and managing its portfolio so that Fubon’s fund usage and strategic investments can be beneficial to the environment and society.
Though financial institutions do not generate the toxic substances created by the manufacturing sector, they can manufacture their own form of toxic financial concoctions – the “toxic assets” and “toxic products” often mentioned during the global financial crisis. We fully realize that the financial sector can only do well if its customers do well and believe protecting the “financial product environment” is just as important as protecting the natural environment. That’s why not creating toxic financial assets in the future has become one of Fubon’s inviolable guiding principles.
Looking ahead to 2016, the global economy should continue its moderate pace of growth, but downside risks could become more prominent. Risks factors from further slowdown in China’s economy, depressed oil prices to heightened volatility in financial marketsare likely to derail growth in Taiwan’s main export destinations.The combination of a sluggish export sector, corporate reluctance to invest, stagnant wage growth and diminishing housing and stock market wealth effects is leading to a less-than-optimistic picture for economic outlook.In this challenging environment, Fubon will put particular emphasis on managing risk by carefully tracking changes in the broader economy and specific sectors and strengthening risk awareness and identification.
Fubon Financial Holdings will also continue to respond positively to the government’s “Asia Cup” initiative by expanding regionally on the road to becoming one of Asia’s first-class financial institutions. With “innovation” an increasingly hot topic in the financial sector, group resources will be focused on helping Fubon subsidiaries capitalize on synergies within the organization. We also continue to align the organization and mobilize resources around FinTech innovation, which, combined with the Internet of Things and automation technologies, allows us to deliver superior products and customer service.
Fubon firmly believes that a company’s greatest responsibility is to foster a better society. With the launch of the “Fubon ESG Visioning Project” and continued efforts on sustainability, we hope to use our influence in the financial sector to create a new paradigm and unleash our brand’s spirit of “positive energy” to make the world a better place.